A “tie” prevails in the European public opinion for the production of energy through nuclear power plants, as recorded by the latest relevant Eurobarometer survey.
The differences, however, are large from country to country, with the weight of “NO” prevailing in the EU’s largest population, Germany, where 69% are against this form of energy.
It is also striking that in France, where about 70% of energy is produced in individual plants, the disapproval rate is quite high at 45%.
This number is particularly important if one takes into account that at this time the French government, with the personal mobilisation of President Emmanuel Macron, seeks to classify nuclear energy in “environmentally friendly” technologies.
This issue has provoked several reactions, both from some countries and from political forces, with the European Greens declaring a few days ago that they are considering appealing to the European Court of Justice against the Commission for its proposal.
Austrian Environment Minister Leonore Gewessler had hinted at something similar, with experts in European law questioning whether such an appeal could be justified.
Overall in Europe and with a sample of around 27,000 respondents the acceptance and rejection rates were exactly the same, with 46%.
3% had no opinion and 5% did not answer.
Opinions on solar (92%) and wind energy (87%) are overwhelmingly positive.
The countries with the highest percentages of negative opinion after Germany and Austria (66%) included Greece and Luxembourg.
Citizens are divided in Belgium, Denmark, Spain and Portugal, where YES or NO does not prevail.
High levels of support were recorded where nuclear power is already being used – the Czech Republic with 79%, Bulgaria with 69%, Poland with 60%, as well as in Finland where a new nuclear reactor has recently started operating.
The survey also recorded slightly higher acceptance rates among men surveyed than women.